On Memorial Day we honor fallen soldiers of war. On November 11th, for Veterans Day, we honor the men and women who are currently serving or have served in the United States military. It’s important to note that Veterans Day is not a day to glamorize war. To the contrary, Veterans Day is intended to be a day to promote peace across all lands. Created after World War One, and originally called Armistice Day, the reason for the day of recognition was “not be devoted to the exaltation of glories achieved in war but, rather, to an emphasis upon those blessings which are associated with the peacetime activities of mankind.” Armistice Day would mark not only the “end of a great war,” but also the ushering “in of a new era of peace” (source).
“Support Our Troops” is a very popular bumper sticker in the United States. But what does that really mean, to support our troops? Some people seem to believe that if we dare question the reason we go to war, we are un-American, as if we don’t support our troops. My perspective is quite the opposite. The best way to support our troops, men and women who serve in the military, is to make damn sure there are no possible alternatives to waging war, killing, and being killed. If we truly care about the human souls serving in the military, it’s important for us to spend a significant amount of time quizzing any politician who insists we must go to war. We must ask if this cry for killing is absolutely necessary, as if our own lives depend on it. Otherwise, we aren’t truly supporting our troops, we are sending them off to die in a senseless war that very well could have been avoided with peaceful negotiations and compromise.
With social media, we have the tools to usher in a new era of global communication, citizen to citizen, human to human. The more people around the world we communicate with, the less likely we will be to approve of a war without questioning the politicians who claim it’s necessary. Choosing an alternative to war indicates a higher intelligence and rational thinking. I hope to see a day when a ‘leader’ is mocked and ridiculed, each time one insists on war and killing. I hope to see a day when a leader is considered weak, and childish, if they resort to cries for war. I hope to see a day when citizens around the world unite and resolve to say ‘No’ to every single leader of every single nation who calls for the killing of others, in their quest for wealth and power, under the pretense of defending their nation. I hope to see a day where the thought of war is so absurd and unrealistic, bumper stickers that read ‘Support Our Troops’ are replaced with bumper stickers that read ‘Support Our Troubadours’.
We wouldn’t trust a politician to balance our personal bank account, so why would we trust them when they tell us many of us must die? Our men and women who volunteer for service in the military are tasked with protecting our freedom. As citizens of the United States, it’s our duty to ensure we aren’t losing loved ones to a war created under false pretense, motivated by the greed of a few.
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